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Masseter Muscle

In human anatomy, the masseter is one of the muscles of mastication. In the animal kingdom, it is particularly powerful in herbivores to facilitate chewing of plant matter. The most obvious muscle of mastication is the masseter muscle since it is the most superficial and one of the strongest. The masseter is a thick, somewhat quadrilateral muscle, consisting of two heads, superficial and deep. The fibers of the two heads are continuous at their insertion. The action of the muscle during bilateral contraction of the entire muscle is to elevate the mandible, raising the lower jaw. Elevation of the mandible occurs during the closing of the jaws. The masseter parallels the medial pterygoid muscle, but it is stronger.